NYU-Poly looks to eliminate anxiety in cyberland

There is a high demand for cyber security experts and finding one when you need one can be challenging. But students at NYU Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn may be the start to a solution.

Cyber security is a branch of technology that protects information from theft and guarantees privacy on computers and networks. Experts in the field aim to eliminate anxiety about how hackers obtain personal or classified information.

According to Nasir Memon, a professor of computer science and engineering at NYU-Poly, the school allows students to concentrate or minor in cyber security, but this is the first year that a master's program is being offered.

Experts in cyber security are needed to help corporations and government agencies protect the information found on their computers.

"Cyber security is increasingly becoming a part of people's jobs, and attacks and threats are becoming more common and sophisticated," said Sally Jaggar, a senior adviser for Partnership for Public Service, an organization that works to attract employees to government jobs.

In a recruiting effort, NYU-Poly hosted its sixth annual Cyber Security Awareness Week games last week.

The week included competitions that invite high school, undergraduate and graduate students to play cyber war games. The winners from initial rounds are invited to the finals and awards ceremony at NYU-Poly's campus.

"The purpose of these competitions is to find the students who have an aptitude for cyber security," Memon said.

Once students are admitted, the school strives to teach them to "think about security and how to compensate when an accident occurs. But when you have a malicious adversary, the model is different. You need a way to anticipate this and put in preemptive measures."

NYU-Poly is also participating with Alan Paller of the SANS Institute, a leading force in the cyber security movement. Paller recently announced that he hopes begin a cyber camp at NYU-Poly and train 20,000 cyber security experts.